The 100% on plan cake (Salted Caramel Cupcake batter, [THT, pg 379] with Caramel Cashew Frosting)I made for my sister and brother-in-law’s 17th wedding anniversary! (It’s for her. I made a separate sugar filled regular one for her husband and kids! 🙂 )
Caramel Cashew Frosting
(I tweaked and combined 2 of my favorite Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipes):
2/3 cup swerve brown sugar (if you don’t have this, just use the equivalent of sweetener of your choice, and add a small amount (1/4-1/2 t.) of blackstrap molasses)
3 large egg whites
½ teaspoon Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 t. caramel extract
1 cup cashew butter (You may use any nut butter in this. Peanut butter is DELICIOUS!)
1. Combine sweetener, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, add vanilla and cashew butter; mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping beater and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.
3. If final frosting seems too thick, warm mixer bowl briefly over pan of simmering water. Place bowl back on mixer and beat on medium-high speed until creamy.
The frosting can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. When ready to frost, place frosting in a microwave-safe container and warm briefly on high power until just slightly softened, 5 to 10 seconds. Once warmed, stir until creamy.
I made the batter for the Magic Salted Caramel Cupcakes, but instead of turning it into cupcakes, I poured it into 3 greased, parchment lined, and floured (I used Oat Fiber) 6 inch cake pans. I then baked them for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and then run thin knife around edge of pan to make sure cake is completely separated from pan, and turn out onto a parchment covered cooling rack. Let cool completely. (I made this late in the evening so I didn’t have time to finish it, so once it cooled to room temperature, I stuck the layers in ziplock bags and put them in the freezer until I was ready for them.
The drizzle and topping is the caramel sauce for the cupcakes.